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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


It was six years ago four friends from P.E.I. came together and decided on three goals: to write enough songs for a CD, to make a CD and put one of those songs on the radio.

Now those dreams are accomplished and the possibility for bigger and better things looms in front of the quartet.

Maurice Hashie (Moe), Jason Arsenault and Andy Gallant from Wellington and Chris Ahern from Summerside are hoping they are living on the Edge of fame.

Edge is the name of the rock band the four started over half a decade ago.

This week, they prepare to launch their first album, Revelations. The launch will take place at the Jubilee Theatre Aug. 19 at 8 p.m.

Although there is still a week before the launch, the band is already receiving good reviews from both the people who bought their CD and the radio stations they sent their albums to. One station said they felt there were at least six songs that qualified as singles, said Hashie.

One of those songs, Star, is being picked up by disc jockies in Ontario and the Maritimes.

The song is kind of the band’s theme song, said Ahern.

It’s about a person who is sick of the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. grind and tired of living in a small town, so he straps on his guitar and leaves to become a star.

“Not that we’re sick of Summerside... I mean... we love Summerside,” he added laughing.

But the group (minus Gallant who could not make it to the interview) agreed they did not expect that song to be picked as the hit, though it was one of the first songs they ever jammed.

Outside at the Deckhouse on Spinnakers’ Landing, the three of the four band members sit around a table laughing about how they came in the rock band.

There are few serious moments throughout the conversation, but during the few formal moments that occurred at the restaurant, it was clear all four had a passion for music.

The four said they started out as a cover band, playing other artists’ music.

But Edge was first born from the ashes of a previous rock band Hashie and Ahern were in during the mid 1990s.

The rock scene was not big back then in Summerside. Country music was the dominant genre of music, Ahern said.

When the band flopped in 1999 the two decided to try again, but this time Hashie enlisted the help of two of his childhood friends, Gallant and Arsenault.

“I called Andy and Jason and I told them that we were going to start a rock band and they said ‘Man, it will never fly’ and I said ‘Fly no, but it will leap over tall buildings,” Hashie said, while Ahern smiled and shook his head.

Arsenault later added that he, Hashie and Gallant played in a rock band as teenagers.

He said once they went to university the three split up and it was interesting to get back together.

The first time the four played was at a warehouse Ahern’s parents owned.

Gallant made each member a CD of songs to rehearse, with music ranging from Eric Clapton to ACDC.

With Arsenault on lead guitar, Ahern on rhythm guitar and vocals, Gallant on bass and Hashie on drums, the three attempted to jam out the tunes.

“It was nothing to write home about by any means,” Arsenault quipped.

During that first session, Arsenault said he absent-mindedly started playing a riff from a song that was frequently on the radio at that time, My Own Worst Enemy by Lit.

One by one everybody else joined in.

“And something just clicked,” Arsenault said.

It showed us the direction we wanted to go in, which was aggressive rock.

And so the band again started out covering other people’s songs. Gradually, they played more and more venues, learning to improvise when things went wrong.

Edge became a second personality for the four men. Through the week they would go to their government jobs and hang out with their families and on the weekend they would rock the bars.

“Some guys like bowling, some guys like golfing we like playing music,” Hashie said.

After getting used to playing in front as many as 3,000 people the four decided to take it one step further and make their own music. It was really hard making that transition from being a cover band to writing originals, Hashie said.

“There is a level of comfort playing in a (cover band),” said Arsenault.

“You don’t have to worry about other people criticizing the music you play because it’s not yours, unless you really mess it up.”

The four took a deep breath and embarked on the journey of making a CD.

For almost a year they met three or four nights a week to jam. When they were ready to record, all of their free time was spent in the studio. For Ahern it was an extra two months of singing.

Even now, their free time continues to be zapped, as they advertise and market their
album.

Arsenault admits things became a bit nerve-wracking as the expenses of making a CD
started stacking up.

First there was a few thousand for recording then a few thousand for mixing and mastering.

“At one point it was like, ‘Ok guys are we reall - The Journal-Pioneer


Edge is s to release its debut CD, Revelation, at the Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre on Aug. 19.

After gaining a solid reputation as a cover band, members of Edge knew the sound they wanted.

For five years, the alternative rock band with an 1980s sound played in regular rotations at Myrons, Heritage Pub and the Summerstreet Barz and opened up for bands like the Northern Pikes.

They made the dance floor shake with music that ranged from Bryan Adams and Van Morrison to Guns ‘n Roses and AC/DC. But after a while it seemed that something was missing.

“Although we love to perform, four people doing the same thing at the same places can get a little stale,” says Jason Arsenault, lead guitarist, vocalist.

Often at their concerts, one or two fans would come up and ask to buy one of their CDs. But they didn’t have any to sell them.

“The more we kept hearing about it, the more we started thinking maybe it’s not a bad idea,” says Arsenault.

So after talking it over they decided to take their creativity to the next level by releasing their first CD.

“Writing our own music was a new direction that we needed to make,” says lead Chris Ahern, who penned the 11 songs on the album with Moe Hashie.

“The band worked out the music together,” he says.

Edge is celebrating this creativity with the launch of its debut CD, Revelation, at the Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in Summerside on Friday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m.

“Doing an album was easy,” says Ahern.

“Discovering our sound as a cover band, we streamlined what we liked. So with each song we wrote, we got a little closer to the sound that we were looking for,” says Ahern, who joins Moe Hashie (drums, vocals), Andy Gallant (bass, vocals) and Arsenault in the band.

Recorded at Adullam’s Cave, Summerside, the CD is now available at P.E.I. music stores. And it’s got the guys pumped.

“It’s exciting. It has breathed a lot of new life in the band, into what we’re doing,” says Gallant, adding that the CD was mixed and mastered at Lakewind Sound Studios in Cape Breton.

The band began five years ago in a most casual way.

“Mo gave us each a call when he realized that none of us were playing and asked if we wanted to get together and form a band,” says Arsenault.

The first practice didn’t see to go too well.

“We all had our own approaches to the music. But then we started jamming on this one particular song, My Own Worst Enemy. Right then and there we knew we had found our style” he says.

With their new CD, they’re hoping their audience will develop an appreciation for them as songwriters.

“We’re excited about our songs. We wrote the title track, Revelation, shortly after the tsunamis,” says Ahern.

The song is about natural disasters and has kind of an end-of-the-world kind of feeling.

“We all liked the energy so we decided to make it our title track,” he says.

In contrast, Prison is about a girl who is trapped within her shyness.

“I was thinking about the struggles and the personal failures she was experiencing because she wasn’t able to speak up for herself,” says Ahern, a youth worker.

Sometimes the ideas for their music comes from a situation that he’s dealt with from work.

“Other times their lively songs, about the guy who gets drunk and doesn’t remember what he did the next day,” says Ahern, adding that the launch is free and open to everyone over eight years of age.

For more information on the band go to www.edgerocks.ca.
- The Guardian


Discography

Album: Revelation, released August 19, 2005
singles:
- Star
- I Can't See You
- Back 2 Me
The first single from the album “Star” reached Top 2 on the nationally syndicated East Coast Countdown. It also received generous airplay from radio stations in the region such as Big Dog in Truro NS and hometown Magic 93 in Charlottetown. The second single “I Can’t See You” quickly climbed the East Coast Countdown to reach #1 and was also well received by radio. The third single “Back 2 Me” was top 10 on the East Coast Countdown for the entire Summer of 2006.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

2006 Music PEI Award winners:
-Entertainer of the Year
-Weekend Warrior of the year

2006 Music PEI Award nominee:
-Rock Recording of the Year

EDGE is a four piece rock band from Summerside PEI. Members include Moe Hashie on drums & vocals; Andy Gallant on bass & vocals; Jason Arsenault on lead guitar & vocals and Chris Ahern on lead vocals & guitar. Though the band formed in 1999, the guys have actually been friends and played music together most of their lives. Their camaraderie, talent and musical connection shines through onstage, thus they quickly became a local favourite playing clubs, festivals, and special events.

Fans, friends and family have been urging the guys to record an album for a while now. After four years of writing songs, revamping them, discarding them and so on, the band was ready to record. They entered the studios in October 2004 and emerged with a set of rocking tunes and ballads in May 2005. The album was mixed and mastered at Lakewind Sound Studios in Cape Breton in June 2005 with an official release in August 2005.

The result is a very appealing mainstream radio friendly collection of songs. If there is any justice in the music business, Rock radio and Top 40 CHR stations should be all over this very accessible and commercial gem. Tunes like Star, I Can’t See You, Back 2 Me, Dreams, Why and She Loves Me were made to be listened to while cruising down the highway, just hanging out or working late at night at a job you would rather not have. Listen for yourself!